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Barley & Brass' menu has many boilermakers
Barley & Brass' menu has many boilermakers
Marc Much

Bottom’s Up: 15 Bold Chicago Boilermakers

Where to get some fancy versions of a shot and a beer.

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Barley & Brass' menu has many boilermakers
| Marc Much

Though often portrayed as a drink for hard-boiled detectives and weathered blue-collar workers, the boilermaker is making a comeback among discerning bar-goers. Consisting of a shot served alongside a beer—though some like to pour, or even drop, their shot into the beer—the boilermaker also offers bartenders a chance to show off some of the lesser-known spirits and beers found on their menu. Double up at these 15 spots.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Henry's

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18 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 955-8018
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Henry’s offers a nice variety of boilermakers, but you won’t be bitter about ordering the "Staff Meeting," which consists of a Founders All Day IPA and a shot of Fernet-Branca for $7.

Marc Much

2. Tippling Hall

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646 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 448-9922
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Among its many many available beverages, Tippling Hall offers a three-part combo that consists of a shot of John Powers Irish Whiskey, a pickle juice and sangrita back, and a Miller High Life pony ($9).

3. Sable Kitchen & Bar

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505 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 755-9704
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Sable’s been getting weird behind the bar for ages, and their boilermaker combo doesn’t disappoint. You can currently order any draft beer and a house made-shot for $10. The current option is a shot made with bourbon, Fernet, Crème de cassis, and cinnamon.

4. The Publican

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837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-9555
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Come in during brunch hours and order the "Diesel," a house-made radler with Half Acre Akari Shogun beer, fresh grapefruit juice, lime, and Sprite. Add a shot of gin and the combo will set you back $8.

5. Fulton Market Kitchen

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311 N Sangamon St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-6900
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Fulton Market Kitchen currently offers a whopping 11 boilermaker combos on its menu, but favorites include the Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison with a shot of Grand Marnier ($11), and the Stiegl Grapefruit Radler with a shot of Malort ($11).

Marc Much

6. Barley & Brass

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2015 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 763-9600
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This Ukrainian Village hang not only offers a nice selection of boilermakers, but also has an absinthe-based slushie and four cocktails on tap. On your next night out, stay away from Fireball and order the B&B Ball, which is a house-made cinnamon-whiskey shot paired with an Old Style ($8).

Marc Much

7. Wood

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3335 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 935-9663
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Come for the excellent brunch—which features dishes such as fried-chicken benedict—and pair it with an unconventional boilermaker. This one’s mighty tasty but doesn’t kick as hard, because the shot of Fernet-Branca is paired with a Barritts ginger “beer” ($10).

8. Twisted Spoke

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501 N Ogden Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 666-1500
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No fancy stuff here. Just sit down, order, and get to drinkin’. Every day, Twisted Spoke offers a shot of Jim Beam with a random “grab bag” beer for $5.

9. Lone Wolf

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806 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 600-9391

Patrons can score a Founders Centennial IPA and a shot of Lunazul tequila for $12, but occasionally the bar also offers a Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust and shot of Green Chartreuse for $15.

10. Dusek's

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1227 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 526-3851
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Dusek’s is pretty serious about its take on the boilermaker. As a hat tip to the neighborhood’s Czech past, the bar offers a Czech pilsner from Pilsen’s Moody Tongue Brewery paired with shot of Czech spice liqueur. The combo is called a "Becherovka" and it’ll set you back $9.

Marc Much

11. AMK Kitchen Bar

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1954 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-4400
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Stop in at this new Bucktown hang on Wednesdays to score a 19.2 oz. Oskar Blues can (Dale’s Pale Ale, Mamma's Little Yella Pilsner, or Pinner IPA) with a shot of Evan Williams bourbon for $9. Pro tip: try the Cool Ranch Doritos nachos, which are offered as a secret-menu item.

Marc Much

12. Big Star

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1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-4039
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South of the border, the sangrita is a popular pairing to tequila. Big Star offers its house-made version with the Los Tres Reyes combo, which includes a shot of Tromba Blanco tequila and a can of Tecate for $8.

13. Presidio

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1749 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 697-3315
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The Dogma Group oversees the San Francisco-themed Presidio’s beverage program, so it’s only appropriate that the bar serves its Anchor Steam draft with a shot of CH Fernet-Dogma ($12).

Marc Much

14. County Barbeque

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1352 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 929-2528
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Every day from 5 to 7 p.m. you can order a scary-good combo named "El Chupacabra" for a mere $6. (It’s an Off Color Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale and a shot of Lunazul Blanco tequila.)

Marc Much

15. Johnny's Grill

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2545 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 278-2215

This classic Logan Square greasy spoon has recently received new ownership and a makeover, which also means that you can expect a price bump. However, you can now order drinks at a new bar, including one of five different boilermaker combos.

Marc Much

1. Henry's

18 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Marc Much

Henry’s offers a nice variety of boilermakers, but you won’t be bitter about ordering the "Staff Meeting," which consists of a Founders All Day IPA and a shot of Fernet-Branca for $7.

18 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

2. Tippling Hall

646 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654

Among its many many available beverages, Tippling Hall offers a three-part combo that consists of a shot of John Powers Irish Whiskey, a pickle juice and sangrita back, and a Miller High Life pony ($9).

646 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654

3. Sable Kitchen & Bar

505 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654

Sable’s been getting weird behind the bar for ages, and their boilermaker combo doesn’t disappoint. You can currently order any draft beer and a house made-shot for $10. The current option is a shot made with bourbon, Fernet, Crème de cassis, and cinnamon.

505 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654

4. The Publican

837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

Come in during brunch hours and order the "Diesel," a house-made radler with Half Acre Akari Shogun beer, fresh grapefruit juice, lime, and Sprite. Add a shot of gin and the combo will set you back $8.

837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

5. Fulton Market Kitchen

311 N Sangamon St, Chicago, IL 60607
Marc Much

Fulton Market Kitchen currently offers a whopping 11 boilermaker combos on its menu, but favorites include the Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison with a shot of Grand Marnier ($11), and the Stiegl Grapefruit Radler with a shot of Malort ($11).

311 N Sangamon St
Chicago, IL 60607

6. Barley & Brass

2015 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
Marc Much

This Ukrainian Village hang not only offers a nice selection of boilermakers, but also has an absinthe-based slushie and four cocktails on tap. On your next night out, stay away from Fireball and order the B&B Ball, which is a house-made cinnamon-whiskey shot paired with an Old Style ($8).

2015 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Wood

3335 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Come for the excellent brunch—which features dishes such as fried-chicken benedict—and pair it with an unconventional boilermaker. This one’s mighty tasty but doesn’t kick as hard, because the shot of Fernet-Branca is paired with a Barritts ginger “beer” ($10).

3335 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657

8. Twisted Spoke

501 N Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

No fancy stuff here. Just sit down, order, and get to drinkin’. Every day, Twisted Spoke offers a shot of Jim Beam with a random “grab bag” beer for $5.

501 N Ogden Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

9. Lone Wolf

806 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Patrons can score a Founders Centennial IPA and a shot of Lunazul tequila for $12, but occasionally the bar also offers a Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust and shot of Green Chartreuse for $15.

806 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

10. Dusek's

1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Marc Much

Dusek’s is pretty serious about its take on the boilermaker. As a hat tip to the neighborhood’s Czech past, the bar offers a Czech pilsner from Pilsen’s Moody Tongue Brewery paired with shot of Czech spice liqueur. The combo is called a "Becherovka" and it’ll set you back $9.

1227 W 18th St
Chicago, IL 60608

11. AMK Kitchen Bar

1954 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Marc Much

Stop in at this new Bucktown hang on Wednesdays to score a 19.2 oz. Oskar Blues can (Dale’s Pale Ale, Mamma's Little Yella Pilsner, or Pinner IPA) with a shot of Evan Williams bourbon for $9. Pro tip: try the Cool Ranch Doritos nachos, which are offered as a secret-menu item.

1954 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

12. Big Star

1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

South of the border, the sangrita is a popular pairing to tequila. Big Star offers its house-made version with the Los Tres Reyes combo, which includes a shot of Tromba Blanco tequila and a can of Tecate for $8.

1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

13. Presidio

1749 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Marc Much

The Dogma Group oversees the San Francisco-themed Presidio’s beverage program, so it’s only appropriate that the bar serves its Anchor Steam draft with a shot of CH Fernet-Dogma ($12).

1749 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

14. County Barbeque

1352 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607
Marc Much

Every day from 5 to 7 p.m. you can order a scary-good combo named "El Chupacabra" for a mere $6. (It’s an Off Color Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale and a shot of Lunazul Blanco tequila.)

1352 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607

15. Johnny's Grill

2545 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
Marc Much

This classic Logan Square greasy spoon has recently received new ownership and a makeover, which also means that you can expect a price bump. However, you can now order drinks at a new bar, including one of five different boilermaker combos.

2545 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647

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